An issue that plagues our lives and continues to hinder our well-being is that of Global Warming. In general, it can be defined as the gradual increase in the world temperatures which is caused by the emission of gases that trap the Sun’s heat in the atmosphere. This is turn, leads to an increase in the sea-rise levels across the world.
The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that the effects of global warming were first observed in the mod-20th century. It has been estimated that if necessary precautions are taken now, world temperatures are likely to increase by 1.5 to 6 degrees by the year 2100. Global Warming has a series of devastating effect; tornados, cyclones, extinction of animals, unproductive agriculture, melting of mountain peaks and glaciers etc. If we do not conserve our natural habitat and continue to rely on fossil fuels, it is unlikely that Global Warming will ever come to an end.
Environmentalist R.K Pachauri and Former US President Al Gore, who were awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, have made significant contributions towards this issue. They both have made joint efforts in India to spread the message of the harmful effects of Global Warming and the necessary steps that can be taken to reduce the damage that it is causing. The Climate Project, held at the India Habitat Center in New Delhi, was attended by several delegates belonging to varied professions.
Mr. Al Gore even stated that India should be the forerunner in combating the effects of Global Warming. These goals cannot be fulfilled until other important objectives are taken care of; extreme hunger and poverty, agricultural and forest protection, prevention against harmful diseases and the ceaseless civil wars, which are a reality of today’s world. These are all political problems which challenge the country’s progress. This training session was an enlightening experience for all; it gave hope for a better future to all those present there, who were motivated by Mr. R.K Pachauri’s and Mr. Al Gore’s concern, not just for Global Warming, but also for mankind.
Severn Suzuki’s speech at the Earth Summit in 1992 (attended by Government Delegates, Journalists and Businessmen), on behalf of the Environmental Children’s Organization, a girl all of 12 years, is one that is extremely relevant today. Her understanding of the events occurring in the world she lived in is remarkable; the starving children, dead animals, extinct plants, all affected by Global Warming. It is these issues that need to find a solution, through compassion and care shared with one another. People are aware of the damage that awaits them, yet they don’t make a conscious effort to fight against it. It is commendable that a girl of her age conveyed the message the message loud and clear; that to only way to solve this problem is to fight against it, transcending all physical and political barriers; to fight against it as one singular unit; to fight against as a World in a whole.
That was 16 years back, but the situation has only worsened since then. Illiteracy and poverty are pervasive features of our society. As individuals, we can follow certain steps to prevent global warming. We all use paper in our daily lives, but the damage it causes to trees is inexplicable. As a substitute, recycling of waste is a good idea. Fossil fuels should be used to the minimum. Cold water should replace hot water when possible. Conservation of water, power and electricity is easy to follow at home. Planting trees is not just beneficial to us; it also improves the quality of the soil, retarding the process of emitting toxins into the atmosphere.
As educated people, we must share our knowledge with those who those who are less fortunate than us. These are easy steps that we can follow, to contribute to the cause in our own personal way. Nobody can foresee the future, but as Albert K Bates once wrote “it now seems evident that this most recent warming is caused by human activity, rather than by geological or astronomical processes.”
If this situation has been created by human beings, it is us humans who can find a solution to it as well.Think it over, spread the message.
[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stepitup2007/1969531764/]